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I just bought a gateway 310x desktop with 256mb RAM and run a dual boot with MDK 9.2 & WinXP. According to the 2x-for-less-than-512mb convention, I made a 512 mb swap partition. I ran top and saw that the swap space is barely used and almost ALL my RAM is being used. My swap space is on sector 16. This happens even when I'm doing nothing but run the X-server and the various services and daemons and things that load up at boot (I'm not running anything more than the usual stuff: APM, saslauthd, blahblah, and the giFT p2p daemon)
The reason why I find this wierd despite all that is said in the posts above is that I used to use an IBM Thinkpad 770Z until I hosed it's motherboard. I ran Linux MDK 9.1 there. It had 192Mb RAM and I put 400Mb of swap space (it was in a higher sector). Then, it used only about 1/3rd of my RAM while not doing anything other than the background stuff and seemed to adequately manage the RAM/swap allocation whenever the load got high.
This is why I am wondering if I have misconfigured my installation. IS the swap space inaccessible for some reason? Does it matter? Pleas let me know if I should do anything.